The YouTube star was accused of being racially insensitive when social media influencer Paige Christie unearthed footage of Ballinger covering the 2008 smash hit during one of her live shows. In a 45-second clip posted on Twitter July 5, Ballinger—acting as her awkward alter ego Miranda Sings—was seen belting out the tune with what appeared to be dark paint smeared across her face.
“I’m gonna need someone to explain the black on her face,” Christie tweeted, prompting activist Shola Mos-Shogbamimu to write in a separate tweet, “Colleen Ballinger tells the world she’s a racist with her full chest. Imagine doing a Beyoncé song in Blackface and the audience are laughing & being entertained.”
However, according to a law firm representing Ballinger, the Haters Back Off star was actually in green face paint from a prior cover of Wicked‘s “As Long As You’re Mine.” According to the firm Berk Brettler, Ballinger had painted her face green to look like Elphaba the witch from the musical, before launching into her Beyoncé cover.